The fairy pitta (Pitta nympha), a member of the order passeriformes in the family pittidae, is known in Chinese as the "eight-color bird" for its eye-catching plumage of eight different colors: black, white, yellow, red, blue, dark green, chestnut and bright blue. Taiwan currently provides the largest fairy pitta habitat and breeding range of any place in the world, yet the population of fairy pittas declines rapidly as a result of habitat loss. To let our citizens put more emphasize on ecological conservation, Chunghwa Post has asked Mr. Lin Ruey-Shing of the Endemic Species Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, to plan a set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet on the 「Conservation of Birds Postage Stamps - Fairy Pitta」. The designs of the stamps follow:
1. Perching High (NT$5.00): Fairy pittas are active on the ground of the forest. To attract mates, the males often perch on high branches and sing their hearts out.
2. Flying (NT$5.00): Although they are excellent flyers, fairy pittas spend most of their time on the ground. When they make short-distance dashes in the woods, their bright blue wing coverts and upper tail coverts, as well as the snowy white spots in their wings, shimmer. It is a dazzling sight.
3. Rearing the Young (NT$10.00): Fairy pittas like to build their nests on the grounds of steep slopes, in the forks of low shrubs or at the base of bamboo bushes in low-altitude broad-leaved forests where the tree crowns are dense. The males and females share the responsibility for hatching eggs and rearing the young.
4. Foraging (NT$10.00): Fairy pittas are shy birds. Their sharp senses help them to find food. Earthworms are the primary food source for baby birds. Their diverse diet also includes caterpillars, beetles, ants, centipedes, snails and cicadas.
To purchase relative stamps, the public can go directly to the post offices, or order on line at http://stamp.post.gov.tw.
(1) First Day Cover to be sold at NT$2.00 apiece.
(2) First Day Cover in large size to be sold at NT$3.00 apiece. (3) Folder especially prepared for the stamps to be sold at NT$5.00 apiece.
(4) Folder with crystal mount for better protection of the stamps to be sold at NT$5.00 apiece.
(5) Folder with crystal mount for better protection of a souvenir sheet to be sold at NT$8.00 apiece.
(6) Loose-leaf stamp album page with plastic cover to be sold at NT$16.00 apiece.
(7) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a low-valued stamp to be sold at NT$7.00 apiece.
(8) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a complete set of stamps to be sold at NT$32.00 apiece.
(9) Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a souvenir sheet to be sold at NT$33.00 apiece.